Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ode to November

November... my very favorite month, for sometimes inexplicable reasons. I do love the light and the colors and the cozyness of fires in the woodstove. The settling in of the clouds and mists and rain. But I think I love it most for its transitional, fleeting nature. I love the feeling that each and every day the world around me is changing. And I dearly love Thanksgiving, the least commercial holiday, despite its somewhat questionable roots, because it is a family gathering time, and I am blessed to have wonderfully interesting and inspirational family members that I look forward to spending time with.

I'm going to show the entire month in my selected favorite photos in this one blog post. Because I don't have words enough to capture its essence.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

*NEW* Fairy Coffee Mother:the Magical Elixir Series Part III

What coffee lover wouldn't dream of having his/her very own coffee fairy to bring steaming mugs of magical elixir to their waiting hand every morning (or mid-day, or afternoon, or evening, or twilight, or...)? Complete with her very own tree that provides fresh coffee cherries every day, which she then gathers into a giant basket, small-batch roasts, and hand grinds for every amazing cuppa, this coffee fairy is on the top of my Christmas/Birthday/Everyday wish list. But since she is a figment of my imagination, I'll gladly settle for this little pin cushion. Which could also be framed to hang with the other editions in this collection of mine. Just saying.

There has never been a time that I haven’t loved coffee. Even as a young kid who wasn’t allowed to drink it, I lived for mornings at my Grandma’s house, where that lovely aroma was the first thing I smelled each day. My parents have never been coffee drinkers, so it was a rare and special treat to watch the ritual of sipping and enjoying the dark elixir made from magical beans.

My ability to drink caffeine has been severely altered in the past several years, but that doesn’t stop me. Decaf isn’t quite as tasty, but it really has never been about the energy boost, nor about the addiction to the caffeine. Purely and simply, I am addicted to the ritual that a hot cup of black coffee brings to my day. First thing in the morning is most important, but I find myself turning to it at any time of the day to bring me back to center focus and make my whole being happy.

This lovely beverage (dark and black, please, with nothing added except perhaps ice on a hot day) is going to be the focus of a new series I’ve titled “The Magical Elixir”. I’m not sure yet how many designs, and what the timing of their releases will be, but I already have ideas for three, and like odd numbers, so perhaps five when all told, so they can create a nice grouping in your kitchen or dining room or wherever it is that you enjoy your morning cup of joy.

Stitch Count: 110 x 62
Model stitched with one thread over two on R&R Reproductions’ 40ct. Patriot’s Brew

Stitches used: Counted Cross Stitch, Straight, French Knot

Weeks Dye Works: Grasshopper
The Gentle Art: Maple Syrup, Dark Chocolate, Apple Cider, Caramel Corn, Ruby Slipper
Classic Colorworks: Hazelnut

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Additional Materials Recommended:
12” Lady Dot Creates Rick Rack “Bird Nest”
Cotton fabric in co-ordinating colors for backing
Crushed walnut shells, or pin cushion filler of choice

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

*NEW* M is for Mermaid

As things usually go when being inspired by life rather than doing things in proper order, the sixth letter in my alphabet series is actually the 13th letter in the alphabet. But hopefully no one will complain too loudly, because sometimes there is no controlling the creative portion of my brain.

You all have been asking for years now, when I will get around to designing something mermaid-ish, nautical, ocean-themed; when, when, when? Well, I’ve finally found the perfect time to dive in head first (pun intended). I had so much fun with the colors, the flowing hair, the multi-shaded scales on their lovely tails. It is highly likely that merfolk will appear again in the designs of my future. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I have!

Mythical creatures are perhaps one of my favorite motifs on antique samplers; partly because they are rare, but mostly because they show a quality of imagination that I can identify with. In my formative years, all of the stories going on in my brain involved outer space or Pegasus or time travel or anything possible that wasn’t deemed “reality”. For some reason, mermaids weren’t high on my list of favorites; perhaps because I wasn’t fond of swimming and the thought of living under water made me feel claustrophobic. My utmost apologies to Tritan’s daughters and fans… I have had a change of heart.

I don’t have a planned release scheduled for this series. With 26 letters to chart, it might take me ten years to get through them all, since I have other ideas and plans and designs in the works too. They won’t be released in alphabetical order, but instead, as inspiration strikes. The one thing you can count on is that they will all be round, designed to fit into the same frame, which can be found on etsy: When you purchase a frame from their shop, they have generously offered a coupon code just for my customers! Enter HEARTSTRING10 at checkout to get ten percent off of your order (this coupon code won't work in MY shop, but only in the SignedandNumbered shop).

You could buy one frame and swap out the letters as you see fit, or a grouping of four or more of them for a nice collection to spell out your last name or a favorite word.

Or, you could finish your pieces as ornaments for an alphabet tree. The options are multiple; use your creativity!

Stitch Count: 80 x 80
Model stitched with one thread over two on R&R Reproductions' 32ct. Winter Brew

Using threads from:
Classic Colorworks: Poblano Pepper, Cinnamon Toast, Honeycomb
The Gentle Art: Green with Envy, Brethren Blue, Ruby Slipper
Weeks Dye Works: Skinny Dip, Havana, Collards, Holly, Cadet, Teal Frost

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Frame by Signed and Numbered:
6” Circle Opening Vintage Turquoise

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Catching Up *and* a Special Sale Item

You may or may not know that my hard drive had a major crash early in October. I thought for sure that I'd lost several months' worth of data, because I had been so busy I forgot to do my monthly backup... since February.


Never again.

The amazing news is that after five weeks and several hundred dollars paid to the Geek Squad, I have everything back. Everything.

Well, there are a few things that I haven't located yet, but all of the important things are there.

Call me the most THANKFUL person ever right now. I have no doubt that Someone Up Above had a hand in the process. As well as some super Geeky Squad Members.

Anyway... I'm finally getting around to things like updating this blog with Dyeing to Stitch retreat pictures from September, and a bajillion pictures of Autumn in Oregon, and our Disneyland trip!!! Oh, and the last two releases for 2017 will be out tomorrow if I can get all of my errands done in a timely manner. Wednesday if I can't.

And... I've decided to run an amazing sale on what I think is a darn cool kit I made a few years ago.

I absolutely love this kit. The problem is that I released it at the Nashville Market, and having never done a kit before, I made WAY TOO MANY of them! So all of the extras have been sitting in a box, lonely and wishing for a Christmas tree to hang on, or a neck to be proudly worn around. They are now officially marked down 50% off in my etsy shop, and will remain that way until December 15th (at which time my entire shop will be closed until after Christmas). These little cuties would be perfect gifts for your stitching group (finished or unfinished!).

The kits includes everything needed to finish the pendant: silk gauze, cotton backing fabric, threads, wooden pendant frame, and black seam binding. Silk gauze pieces measure 5x5 inches. All you will need in order to finish it is time, patience, a needle and scissors.

If you've never stitched on silk gauze before, this is a great project to test your skills; it is small and very do-able. I had never worked with silk gauze before this project, and loved it SO. MUCH.

Head on over to my Etsy shop now to check it out for yourself!

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Books for Sale!

I'm trying my very hardest to downsize some of my collections so that I can move my office to a corner of my bedroom so that my kids can have their own rooms. They still share, and it's getting to a point that, although they could continue on, I'd rather they each had their own space. I love my house, but it is not big and this causes problems for those of us *ahem* that have a hard time getting rid of things that might be useful someday. Like craft books.

These are all wonderful books that I've thumbed through many, many times, seeking inspiration or entertainment or enlightenment. But I have lots more of these very types. I went through each section of the crafty books that I love and forced myself to offer some to you. I'm pretty proud of the stack that I'm willing to let go of. And happy with those that I decided to keep. But I'm immediately posting the ones for sale so that I can't change my mind!
I've priced them all based on the current used market on Amazon and Thriftbooks. So you can certainly go get them from someone else. Or, you can help my sweet daughter get her very own room so she doesn't have to share with a stinky boy anymore.

I'm only going to have these available to you for a week. After that time, I'll probably donate them to my local library's used book section.

Please contact me via email ( with the titles of the books you want and include your address. I will then calculate media mail rate to your zip code and work up an invoice on PayPal.

In order to save time, I'm not going to post pictures of each book. I will instead embed a link in the title to the same book online, so you can go see what it looks like/contains.

First up, some magazines and an old pattern, all in very good/like new condition. They have been shelved flat, so they still look very nice, and contain so much goodness inside...

$5 each:

Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly Volume 52
Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly Volume 53
Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly #58
Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly #59
Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly #63
Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly #78

The rest are all books, and will be priced individually.

Samplers: How to Compare & Value - $7
Hardcover. Dust cover has a bad tear. Pages are in pristine condition.

Small Endearments - $6
Hardcover. Excellent used condition.

Hooked Rugs - $5
Hardcover. Dust jacket has a tear. Pages are excellent.

The Rug Hook Book - $6
Paperback. Very Good.

I'm going to move all of the books that have been sold down to the bottom of this post. Just so I can still have the info for myself, but to keep all of the currently available together at the top. Thank you all so much for your amazing response to this sale!

Country Home Let's Go Antiquing 2013

The Matilda Driver Sampler - Circa 1836 by The Heart's Content, Inc. 

Treasures of American Folk Art - $6
Hardcover. Dust cover has a bad tear. Pages are in pristine condition.

The Flowering of American Folk Art - $6
Hardcover. Former library book. Missing dust cover.

America's Printed Fabrics 1770-1890 - $7
Paperback. Like new.

Ohio Is My Dwelling Place - $15
Paperback. Like new.

Samplers in the Collections of the Manx Museum - $15
Paperback.  Excellent condition.

With These Hands They Built a Nation - $7
Hardcover. Former library book. Could not find a listing that includes a picture of the fabulous circa 1971 dust cover on my copy. We'll let it be a surprise for whomever adopts this treasure.

Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued Materials - $10
Hardcover with spiral pages. Like new.

Junk Style - $10
Hardcover. Inscription on inside cover; otherwise like new.

Recycled Home - $6
Hardcover. Tear in dust jacket. Otherwise excellent.

Plain & Fancy - $8
Hardcover. Dust jacket has a tear. Pages are excellent.

Paper Cuts: 35 Inventive Projects - $10
Paperback. Like new.

American Country Folk Crafts - $5
Hardcover. Very Good.

The American Quilt - $20
Hardcover. Dust cover shows wear, but has no tears. Pages are beautiful.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Models for Sale!

You guys... I am completely out of wall space! And the clutter in my small house is driving me absolutely batty. So... I need to start moving some of my older models along.

There are some that I'll never be able to part with because either I or one of my immediate family members love them too much... The boy child practically snatched one of my would-be-for-sale models right out of my hands when he found out what I was doing. I can't tell you just how good that made me feel. That an 11 year old boy would want a needlework sampler to hang in his room... I must be doing something right.

There will be more offered at some point, but for now, I have eight that I'm going to list in this post.

Now... I am going to give you a killer deal on these models. I've calculated the current cost of materials (chart, linen, threads, frame), but am not putting any extra charge in there for the time I spent stitching them, nor for my somewhat-questionable framing skills. All were stitched by Yours Truly, and most include my stitched signature and date. None of them have glass, but they all have a brown paper backing with a special label containing title, date, and my signature. They are all ready to hang with either a sawtooth or wire hanger. Dimensions listed include the frame.

So... if you've ever wanted to stitch any of these up for yourself, but just haven't gotten around to it, this is your chance to pay basically the same amount of money you would have anyway, but you don't have to put in a single stitch yourself! And a couple of these are extremely stitch-dense, so the time savings will be HUGE.

Please read carefully: The prices listed are for the models, but do not include shipping. Once you contact me via email ( with your interest in a particular model or models, I will work with you to come up with the best shipping method and will add on exact shipping/insurance that you choose. I will not mark it sold in this listing until the sale is final, which will give others an opportunity to express interest and get in line in case you change your mind.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

This sale is good for anyone, including needlework shops that might want a new model for their walls, and I would be happy to ship to any international friends as well.

And now, in no particular order, the models currently for sale:

EN 1815 - $55
7 1/4 x 9 3/8

22 x 17 3/4 x 2 1/8 (very deep old frame)


(does not include pin cushion model)
12 5/8 x 9 1/2

14 3/4 x 8 3/4

15 3/8 x 14 3/8

(in a wonderful hand-grained frame by Valley House Primitives)
21 3/4 x 11 1/4

9 x 10 1/8

(from the Three Little Proverbs booklet)
11 1/2 x 6 3/4

Please send inquiries to my email address (; do not try to contact me via the comments on this post!